Scientific Journal

Applied Aspects of Information Technology

Companies providing services for customers on-site require appropriate scheduling of employees and technicians. The availability, skills and experience of employees and travel times need to be considered. In addition, the required information should be made available as efficiently as possible. As a result of an increasing rate of digitalization, companies are changing from manual planning in Microsoft Excel or on planning boards and printed documents to integrated workforce management tools that automate planning steps and provide relevant documents. The market for these software tools is growing rapidly. In addition to established software providers such as SAP and Oracle, there are also small vendors on the market. Companies that decide to deploy their field service planning with an appropriate tool are faced the challenge of choosing a suitable method for the evaluating and analyzing the market. The paper is devoted to development of the model for the evaluation of software tools in the context of field service management in the oil and gas industry. The first step of proposed methodology involved market screening to identify suitable software tools. In the next step, criteria were defined that needed to be tested to compare the tools. Finally, the outcome of the evaluation and additional requirements allowed for a benefit analysis. After the evaluation model was developed, it was applied on five selected software tools. SAP Field Service Management was ranked as the best product for a defined use case. The tools from Odyssee and Salesforce ranked similarly in the categories that refer to the functional aspects. The field service management tools from Fergus and ReachOut are both available for free with very limited functionalities, and reached rank four and five, respectively. The result of this work can be used by companies providing services in the oil and gas industry to evaluate field service management tools. Following the model, a structured process is provided to reduce the time needed for software evaluation. Future studies can build on this work and focus either on different software tools or a different industry.
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13 Oct 2021


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